Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw announces he will step down at the next general election

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has announced ‘with considerable sadness’ his decision not to stand at the next general election.

Mr Bradshaw, a Labour member who has been MP for Exeter since 1997 after winning the seat from the Conservatives, said he felt the time was right to ‘pass the baton on’.

He said it had been ‘privilege’ to serve the people of Exeter and thanked the city’s residents for supporting him throughout his political career.

Mr Bradshaw said he would continue to ‘proudly’ serve Exeter at Westminster and ‘work hard for the city’ for the remaining time he had in Parliament,

In an announcement published on the MP’s website, Mr Bradshaw said: “It is with considerable sadness that I have decided not to stand again at the next general election.

“There is never a perfect time to step down in politics and the exact timing is dictated by the electoral cycle.

“I will be 62 this year. If I fought the next election and won, I could be pushing 70 by the end of the next Parliament.

“So, with the Labour Party now in excellent hands with Keir Starmer’s leadership and in very good shape here in Exeter, the time feels right to pass the baton on.”

He added: “I feel the luckiest person in the world to have had the privilege of representing this wonderful city and its people for the last twenty-five years. I will cherish the memories forever.

“I’d like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the people of Exeter and members of Exeter Labour Party for all their love and support over the years and my friends and family, especially my husband Neal, for sustaining me through the rigours of public life.”

Former journalist Mr Bradshaw, who has held the Exeter seat for 25 years, said: “I am confident that Exeter’s and the country’s best years lie ahead and that whoever has the great fortune to become our city’s next MP will do a great job representing its people and taking the Exeter success story forward.

“I will, of course, continue proudly to represent Exeter at Westminster and work hard for the city for the rest of this Parliament, right up until the next general election, whenever that is called.”

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